Daily Archives: 4 January 2008

Unholy trinity: Booze, smokes, good journalism

Jack Shafer in Slate:

“Every profession needs what academics call an “occupational mythology” to sustain it, a set of personal and social dramas, arrangements, and devices, as sociologist Everett Hughes put it, “by which men make their work tolerable, or even make it glorious to themselves and others.” As hard drugs are to the hard-rocker and tattoos are to the NBA player, so booze is to the journalist—even if he doesn’t drink.”

Read the full article: Why booze, cigarettes are essential to good journalism

And the biggest drunk in journalism is…

All the booze fit to drink


Why is travel journalism so mediocre, dishonest?

“Hip”, “happening”, “sun-drenched”, “undiscovered”, “magical”, “eat this”, “do that” , “go there”… Why does all travel journalism seem so manufactured and artificial?

Because, says Chuck Thompson, author of Smile when you are lying:

“Almost all magazines exist for a single purpose—to move product,” he writes. “As conditioned purveyors of the sell-sell-sell mentality, magazine editors routinely dismiss story ideas if something new to sell can’t be attached to them. This limp editorial practice prevents thousands of good stories each year from seeing print and reinforces the contemporary magazine’s standing as a cleverly concealed catalog. It doesn’t matter if they’re peddling lipstick, financial services, movies, or hotel rooms. Cosmopolitan sells L’Oreal and Entertainment Weekly sells Sony Pictures the same way Delta Sky sells Delta Airlines.”

Read the full article: Smile when you’re lying

Link via Arts & Letters Daily